History of the Southwest: A May Term to Remember

Fifteen Goshen College students, along with History Professor Jan Bender Shetler, spent May term 2002 in Southwest Colorado. They studied regional history over the past thousand years through unconventional historical methods and materials such as archaeology, historical site survey, oral history and ethnographic participant/observation.
Here’s the group! Students on the course included: Hattie Bailey, Elizabeth Bontrager, Ventisha Conolly, Alice Enz, Ondrej Hanus, Emily Hershberger, Susanna Kaufman, Jessica Meyers, Joel Nofziger, Tammy Parker, Scott Ressler, Amanda Short, Jonathon Sommers and Jason Witmer.

And here’s what we did! (Click on the pictures to take you to the image gallaries.)We were guests of Jan’s parents, John and Naomi Bender, and their neighbors the first night in Dolores. We saw our first pueblo ruins on McPhee Reservoir.

The first week we stayed near Cortez, Colorado studying archaeology at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, learning everything from excavation to lab techniques.
On the last day at Crow Canyon we took a tour of Mesa Verde.
The following week we moved on to Dove Creek where we assisted the Dolores County Historical Society in historical site surveys of the early Anglo pioneer and mining period in Dove Creek, Disappointment Valley and Rico.
During the final week the Youth Opportunity Program on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation hosted Goshen College students as we learned about life on the reservation today and even participated in the Bear Dance.
While we were at Towaoc at Ute Mountain we took a tour of the Tribal Park to see more ancient pueblo ruins in a more relaxed setting.